Sport and physical recreation in the settlement of immigrant youth

Publisher:
Wilfred Laurier University Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Leisure/Loisir, 2007, 31 (1), pp. 27 - 55
Issue Date:
2007-01
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Post-migration sport and physical activity experiences may assist young people with the impact of migration and settlement. To investigate the role of sport and physical recreation in the process of fitting in to a new country, focus group interviews were conducted with 40 ESL high school students from various ethnic backgrounds who were recent immigrants to a regional city in Canada. Findings revealed that sport and recreation are perceived to be fun, healthy, and helpful in the development of language skills and in providing orientation to the mainstream culture; factors that have been identified elsewhere as key to successful immigrant settlement (e.g., Scott& Scott, 1989; Seat, 2000). However, participation in sport may lead to feelings of social exclusion on the part of young newcomers, because of language difficulties, unfamiliarity with mainstream sports, and prejudice on the part of their peers. The findings have implications for policy and programming that includes sport and physical recreation activities that can enhance the impact of migration
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